9/9 FRI 11:00 | EPA's Numeric Nutrient Criteria 3


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Robert Higgins

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its intent to adopt numeric nutrient criteria for Florida’s water bodies (lakes, streams, canals and estuaries). The criterion is
unprecedented in the nation and has drawn national attention to Florida’s water quality programs. The panel will discuss the legal genesis of this proposed rule, including the most up to date developments in the state legislature and Congress; its technical aspects, including the scientific basis for the rule; implementation
and relief mechanisms; and the criteria’s impact on Florida’scurrent permitting programs, as well as its impact on a wide variety of stakeholders in Florida.

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9/9 FRI 11:00 | EPA's Numeric Nutrient Criteria 3

  1. 1. APA Florida 2011 Conference<br />FDEP Unified Stormwater Rule<br />Vs.<br />EPA Numeric Nutrient Criteria<br />by <br />Robert W. Higgins, P.E.<br />West Palm Beach, Florida <br />September 9, 2011<br />
  2. 2. Question:<br />How does the EPA Numeric Nutrient Criteria fit with the Unified Stormwater Rule proposed by Florida Department of Environmental Protection <br />?<br />
  3. 3. Answer:<br /><ul><li> It is unknown at this time
  4. 4. There is a considerable amount of confusion
  5. 5. EPA NNC Applies to All Discharges
  6. 6. FDEP Stormwater Rule Applies to New Discharges</li></li></ul><li>BACKGOUND:<br />Issue First Raised in Southwest Florida<br />State 401 Water Quality Certification Rejected by EPA<br />Harver Harper Methodology Used to Demonstrate “Pre vs Post” Water Quality Loading is Met<br />SFWMD Proposes a Special Basin Rule for SW Florida<br />FES (and others) Requests Looking at Statewide Applicability <br />
  7. 7. STATEWIDE RULE STATUS<br />2008 – 2009: Technical Advisory Comm.<br />May 2010: Conducted Public Workshops<br />September 2010: Revised Draft Rule Criteria<br />November 2010: Conduct Public Workshops<br />March 2011: Revised Draft Rule Criteria (additional workshops TBD)<br />May 2011: Authorizing Legislation – Not Filed<br />July 2011 or Later: Rule Adoption – Not Done<br />Next Step – Unknown<br />Recent Senate Committee Report Recommends a Uniform Statewide Environmental Resource Permit<br />
  8. 8. WHY NOW?<br />
  9. 9.
  10. 10. STATEWIDE STORMWATER RULE OBJECTIVES<br />Increase Nutrient Removal<br />Requirements for Discharge to Impaired Waters<br />Statewide Consistency<br />Additional BMPs<br />BMP Treatment Train Credit<br />Encourage Low Impact Design<br />Encourage Redevelopment & Retrofitting<br />Rule not applicable to Agricultural Uses<br />
  11. 11. STATEWIDE STORMWATER RULE<br />Limits average annual nutrient load for total phosphorus (TP) & total nitrogen (TN)<br />85% treatment efficiency (load reduction) or;<br />Post development load less than load from natural land cover condition (Post = Pre), whichever is less stringent<br />Adds several new treatment methods (BMPs) with specific nutrient removal quantification<br />One statewide methodology that allows for differing regional conditions<br />
  12. 12. BMPs<br />Primary Quantifiable BMPs:<br />Wet Detention Ponds (residence time calculation)<br />Dry Retention Ponds (retention)<br />Pervious Pavement Systems (retention)<br />Stormwater Harvesting (recycling/retention)<br />Green Roof/Cistern Systems (retention)<br />Exfiltration trench/underground vaults (retention)<br />Swales (retention/percolation)<br />
  13. 13. BMPs<br />Additional BMPs Needing More Input/Data<br />Underdrain Filtration (dry retention with underdrains)<br />Dry Detention<br />Wetland Treatment<br />Vegetated Buffers<br />Managed Aquatic Plant Systems<br />Low Impact Design BMPs<br />
  14. 14. REDEVELOPMENT & RETROFITS<br />Currently, redevelopment that demolishes to bare earth will require full treatment<br />However, redevelopment less than a specific acreage may provide a feasibility analysis to demonstrate that a lower level is appropriate (provide as much treatment as site can provide)<br />Minor Retrofit Projects Require Net Improvement<br />
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  17. 17. STAY UP TO DATE<br /><ul><li>Web Site:</li></ul>www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wetlands/erp/rules/stormwater/index.htm<br />Sign Up for Email List on Web Site<br />
  18. 18. PROBLEMS<br />“Pre” is Considered to be “Pre Man”<br />Wetlands Are Considered Neutral<br />Limited Data<br />Does One Size Fit All? (Five WMD’s For a Reason)<br />Unknown Benefits For Certain BMP’s<br />Agriculture is Exempt<br />Large Economic Impact (More Land Area Required)<br />Criteria is Still Presumptive<br />Compliance With NNC Unknown<br />Lengthy Rulemaking – Likely Challenged<br />
  19. 19. APA Florida 2011 Conference <br />FDEP Unified Stormwater Rule<br />vs.<br />EPA Numeric Nutrient Criteria<br />QUESTIONS<br />